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To be fair, I’m here to cover deep leagues with these posts and I don’t know if this pitcher applies given how his 2013 season went and how JB Gilpin gushed all over him in his Pitcher Profile of him last year.  But then I remembered some of y’all forget that guys who didn’t reach the IP minimum to qualify on certain lists count too and said to myself ‘Oh Em Gee, these kids gotta start doing better research.  They need my help!’  Thus was the beginning of this beautiful Corey Kluber sleeper story born, and after wiping all the afterbirth and poo off of it, I bring it to you. Though… I’m not quite ready to cut the umbilical cord on it.  You may have to wait a few more wasted opening sentences for that.  Sorry, can’t be helped.  Grey tells me repeatedly that I must maintain a 200 minimum word count in these openers and that if I dip below that, the bus we’re driving will explode.  Which is a weird thing to say considering we’re not on a bus.  I’d call it more a minivan.  Rudy is mumbling about SIERRA and WAR in his sleep in the back, Tehol is working on his flow by watching Gary The Snail rap (NSFW), JFOH is putting his gum in Mike’s hair, Jaywrong is making Jennifer Lawrence gifs on his laptop, and Tom Jacks is busy reading the politics section of the newspaper.  Ha, Tom…what a nerd!  But all this to say, Grey is driving this band of misfits while wearing mom jeans so we must abide.  But enough about the Razzball Family life, let’s trudge on.  So let’s look at why Kluber should be on your radar in deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

As I prefaced in the, uh, preface… Corey Kluber should already be known, but, on some levels, he’s not.  Sure, he’s being ranked and it’s not like he’s sitting in an undraftable tier by-any-means on most sites, but I’m not seeing the love for how his 2013 season went.  By the stats, Kluber should be going much higher than he is in my book, especially when you consider his K/9 would’ve finished top-25 at 8.31 and his BB/9 (2.02) would’ve finished top-20. On top of that, his K:BB ratio would’ve finished 11th if we moved the IP minimum back to 140 for the year.  Those aren’t stats that normally go that late in drafts, and yet, he’s kind of an afterthought for all intents and purposes when considering the numbers.  I’ve seen him at SP-45 on one site, SP-53 on another and even SPF-50 on another…wait, whoops, I was just shopping for sunscreen in that window.  My bad.  But all this to say, for top-25 type-numbers, Kluber is getting treated like an SP-4 or worse in a lot of places and that is a major mistake I intend to take advantage of come draft day.

Now before you say “yeah, but that’s only one season of success, I want to see more before I can count on it”, I’d like to point out the team/coaching staff he pitches for: the Indians.  Yes, the same team that turned around Ubaldo Jimenez and another pitcher whom many considered un-salvageable coming into 2013 in Scott Kazmir.  One pitcher you could write off as a team getting lucky, but three?  Hrmm, too much coinkydinks for me to ignore, personally.  Now if you’ll hand me my scissors, I present to you a handsome baby Kluber.  I’m pretty sure you’ll suffer no postdraftum depression.  But please don’t ask me about breastfeeding…

Sky Sperling is a contributor for Razzball Football and Razzball Baseball. He’s also a lover of fine beer, fine women and fine-toothed combs. You can follow him on twitter @Sky_Razzball and in your most sweetest of dreams.

89 Responses

  1. Jay

    Jay says:
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    Furbush, I’d rather Fister than Kluber.

    /exits stage quickly.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Jay: Is your new avatar flashing a gang sign at me? Or are you blowing me a kiss?

      • Jay

        Jay says:
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        @Sky: that’s my WUT face.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Pulp Fiction

          • Jay

            Jay says:
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            @Sky: well, more like emoting it…

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Are you emoting wut like ‘say wuuuuttttt?’ with a couple of sassy girl head snaps to back it up followed by an ‘mmm-hmmm’?

              • Jay

                Jay says:
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                @Sky: maybe

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  I might hold you to that maybe.

                  • Jay

                    Jay says:
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                    @Sky: call me, maybe?

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Maybe I’m amazed?

  2. Willy says:
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    I love Kluber… It’s supposed to be a secret though! Shhhh

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Legend Of Zelda

  3. Tyler says:
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    I love kluber this year. I’m drafting him everywhere. I just hope he stays under the radar.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Tyler: I think he’ll stay in the SP3/4 range with SP2 potential. People don’t wanna believe and because he’s not a 9+ K/9 kinda guy, he’ll be considered safe/boring. His ratios are gonna be a steal, though.

  4. gareth says:
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    Kluber’s increased ground ball rate coupled with the strong possibilty of Carlos Santana at third base on a regular basis tempers my expectations somewhat. However his emergence last year as a viable starter last season was a pleasant surprise and I’m rooting for the guy in 2014.

    After losing kazmir and jiminez, 200 innings, 15 wins and a 3.50 era from kluber would be much appreciated!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @gareth: I think those numbers are well within reach. Throw in a solid WHIP and maybe 175-180 K, and he’s looking good this year.

  5. Andrew A says:
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    love Kluber. My pitching staff has been the subject of many sleeper posts here and other places

    15 team roto: Wainwright, Shields, Corbin, Wacha, Gray, Kluber, Lynn, Griffin, Straily, Leake, Tepesch

    I’m just hoping I can get these guys in my other leagues. shhhhhhhhh

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Andrew A: I like most of that staff. Some a little safer than I’d rather go if they’re there but then again, 15 team you take what you can get. I’ll have at least 3 more pitcher posts…stay apprised!

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        @Sky: **in a butthead of beavis and butthead voice** Huhuhuhuh, he said he likes your staff, Huhuhuhuhuh

  6. gareth says:
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    I saw kluber in one start last year where he was struggling mightily in the first inning. He gave up a few runs then steeled himself and got out of a jam to end the inning.

    He then proceeded to settle in and throw 5 scoreless innings and give his team a chance to win. I was impressed by his make up and mound presence. After being on the fence about him, i was convinced after that of his ability to be a solid major league pitcher.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @gareth: Yep, I didn’t see that one but remember it well on my roster. Kid has moxie.

  7. gareth says:
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    I think my issue was that he looked like a rather mild mannered office worker, or a high school teacher. You look at cliff lee or Justin verlander on the mound and they look ready to tear the batter’s head off.

    I guess the proof is in the pudding and his numbers were very good.

    One of my personal highlights from razzball last year was the Grey quote “Corey kluber sounds like someone who sells you glow sticks at a rave.” Hilarious.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @gareth: He just needs facial hair for that type of look. Then he could look menacing AND sell more than glow sticks at a rave.

  8. gareth says:
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    In regards to the Indians coaching staff having success turning around Jimenez, kazmir ect ect – it was Indians fan fest this weekend. The coolest part was the tour of the Indians clubhouse, weight room and terry francona’s office.
    There was a torn out newspaper article on franconas wall titled “Callaway turns Jimenez around” or something like that. Anyway one of the Indians player or coaches had scrawled “what about cash?” In permanent marker above the headline. This is referencing Kevin cash, the bullpen catcher.
    In any case, if I’m a pitcher left on the market the indians with their neutral ballpark and great coaches dont seem like such a bleak destination any more.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Nice and agreed. Not that the guys they have aren’t talented but they’re definitely good at helping the players harness the talent. Still might even get Ubaldo back. Probably best for both parties.

      • gareth says:
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        Love to see what ubaldo back but have a sneaking suspicion Toronto will nab him.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Well, not a player’s market right now. Too many factors to determine what will happen. Santana linked to them too

  9. Tom Jacks

    Tom Jacks says:
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    Hey – I’d take the politician Johann Ludwig Kluber over Corey Kluber any day.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha! I have zero clue who you’re talking about…dammit, Tom, stop making me look stupid on my own post! I do that fine all by myself!

    • Wake Up says:
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      @Tom Jacks: Corey wouldn’t be so under the radar if he had the umlaut though…he dares call you a nerd…

      • Tom Jacks

        Tom Jacks says:
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        @Wake Up: One of Corey’s ancestors, sensing that one of his descendants would be a baseball player and wish to go under the radar, dropped the umlaut at Ellis Island. Or so I’m told.

        • Wake Up says:
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          @Tom Jacks: Nice…explains also why they didn’t go with Korey…

  10. L'ville Jim says:
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    Picked him off the waiver wire early last season in my 13 team dynasty all keeper league, hope he continues to perform at least at last years level for the entire season.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’m pretty sure he can match. He’s underrated either way.

  11. Wake Up says:
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    Hey nice post Sky, you rock!

    Thanks for burning an image of Grey in mom jeans into my abdullah-a oblongata…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks! Is that what that song is about? Abdullah-A-blongata divita, baby. Don’t you know that the mom jeans are gooooood.

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Sky: My bad…watching an Iron Butterfly concert from live in Saudi Arabia…

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Gotta be careful at those types of concerts. One showing of ankle by a lady and ‘poof’, orgy ensues.

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Sky: or everybody gets stoned…

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Or else everybody would FEEL so all aLOOONEEE

              • Wake Up says:
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                @Sky: now it makes sense why the local mullah is always jamming on Bob…

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  They turn their knob to Bob…isn’t that against their religion?

                  • Wake Up says:
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                    @Sky: *checks notes* nope, it says right here, “If two men lay together they SHOULD be stoned…”

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I’m surprised Macklemore didn’t use that in his song.

  12. Prez says:
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    Hesssss backkkkkk! Hide your kids, hide your wife!

    • gareth says:
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      “And hide your husband’s, cos they rapin’ everybody up here.”

      • Wake Up says:
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        @gareth: Ha!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha! Speaking of Antoine Dodson…um…what?

      Antoine Dodson

  13. Jason says:
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    this post was the equivalent of “magic hour” for baby Kluber

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Can’t tell if insult…or compliment (insert squinty Fry image from Futurama here).

      • Jason says:
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        @Sky: man i seriously need to work on my postings. LOL. Grey thinks I’m a spammer. Anyways…. ‘magic hour’ is what they call the first hour after the baby is born and lays with the mother. With all your very detailed maternity references I thought you would get it. (insert anyone’s face from an audience after they just saw Jerry Seinfeld perform). I’ll resign from sarcasm now, and leave it to the pros.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Haha, I’ve never heard of it. My birthing knowledge, must like my general knowledge, is just part of the google cloud. Magic Hour came up as two IMDB links (new move, 2002 short), and some cinematic reference.

          You’re good either way! I’m here to be made fun of. I mean…look at 80% of my writing…

          • Jason says:
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            @Sky: just think… soon Google will start ranking Razzball for ‘magic hour’, and then those poor pregnant women will be like, “WTF is this?” Then they will scroll up and see that disgusting pic of a cross dressed Antoine Dodson and then they will Google ‘Antoine Dodson’ which will in-turn tell Google that Razzball is a good place to learn about Antoine Dodson. Is it just me or does Richard Sherman remind you of him?

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Haha. There’s a little Sherm…maybe. Richard still sexier, though.

  14. Dratsab says:
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    I have Kluber $5, Iwakuma $1, Porcello $1,Estrada $1, Zimmerman $12, and Price $17 for a $37 starting staff. Thank you all at Razzball as it wouldn’t have been possible without your guidance over the last couple years.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      That is a nice looking staff my friend. If Kluber takes a step forward this year, you’re in for a good time.

      • Dratsab says:
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        That’s what she said

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          HA!

        • Jason says:
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          @Dratsab: that line has a double “that’s what she said in it”. nice call.

  15. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Sky: What I am looking for, that I cannot find anywhere, is a site that deals with prospects organizationally that will impact MLB in a given year. Not the usual ones with same-same lists of sexy and silly 19 yo phenoms whom may or may not make an impact in even 3 to 5 years that clog most FBB sites – like the lame ones listed on FantasyRundown. They are useless to me – most are all a bunch of ring bumping regurgitation and plagiarism IMO.

    I’m tired of pouring over the stats in BB Americas year book or BB Ref. for my target stats – K/AB and K/9 are my usual first attraction indicators for young players – then org level and age next. My eyes are too old for all those little numbers. Time to let someone else do all the work

    I cannot remember his name fella name (odd name) out of Chicago in the early 2000s to mid 2000s, who had a great site. He had a real feel for deep ultra rotoball MiLB players – where the player universe extends beyond just MLB and the rules make it hard to hold onto MiLB more than a few players semi-indefinitely . He tracked the players who were going to arrive in a realistic manner. The Josh Donaldson’s types of 2012 He was not blinded by the limelight. He listed MLB orgs real strengths in terms of help on the way within the framework of the coming season. **Sitting typing trying to remember his name -No Joy**.. Think the domain went down. He covered from RPs to backup MIs and Cs about 25 players deep that others often ignore. He was an amazing tool.

    Do you know of a site like this..

    Baseball Prospectus is limited IMO as it too is infected with star power mindset.

    Someone needs to fill this niche. It could be you.

    Before, I go, I have a confession to make.. Even though I have been disappeared by the Lidless Eye of Darkness, who dwells in RazzBall Towers in the Land of Razz. I still have night sweats between the Star of the Show, Mr. Jay Wrong’s threads. I miss him. Have post up soon . L’m running out of sheets

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Hey Ghost, not familiar with a current one nor of the one you were speaking of. If there is a guy here who’ll probably know, it would be Scott as he’s our prospect guy. I’d defer to him on any of his posts to see what’s up in that arena.

      Jay is living well. He told me last night he had a dream that he and I were conjoined twins at the hip and that we shared a liver and only one of us could have scotch each night. Come to think of it, he said it was a nightmare. And that I looked like Greg Kinnear.

      • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        After wading through the scrambled tissues of what once was a fine rotisserie mind, my search had an epiphany of the website’s name.

        Oldtimer’s is not a pretty thing. It can be very confusing.

        Who are you? Where am I? Right….. Razzball!

        It all happen along a folded lumpy boundary of decaying gray, white, yellow, brown,, purple brain cells, amongst slurry of congealing oozed pus mixed with blood and a tiny bits of a plastic – which, I think, must have been errant pieces of a cocaine straw.- probably, leftover from my cocaine and call-girl days.

        The sites name was ROTOHELP.. Mr. Tim (and his Jessica) Polko. It was brilliant, fast and easy to use. I miss it dearly. That it lead a long slow lingering death made it painful to use in the end. Kinda, like trying to use my mind today.

        Here is a random prospect page for Seattle for 2006. His archives are incomplete.. They just ran out of gas.

        http://www.rotohelp.com/archive/dailyrx/061026dr.html..

        Checkout the leap that Adam Jones made from 2005 to 2006.

        RIP Rotohelp.

        Anyways, this is what I’m looking for.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah, this is really it’s own special brand of crazy. Unless you don’t have a full-time job, which most writers you’ll read do, this type of work would be hard to keep up or you eventually get hired on and move up to something else. It’s hard to get specific when the fantasy world is general. Writing that far down is both exhaustive and small market in terms of eyes on your work. I can see why there may not be much of it out there in the world. I’ll let you know if I find anything but I don’t know of any.

  16. Jeff P says:
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    Cluber or Tyson Ross in a long term keeper?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Kluber. Really like Ross this year but injury history a worry

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Tony Starks: Hey there, Ironman. It’s possible but I can’t see them placing their star bat at the hot corner all that much not just because the defense might be iffy but for injury reasons, it’s a bit more worrisome. And besides, the Tigers went with Miggy and Peralta on their infield for a couple of years. Turned out alright. I think we see A-Cab moved at some point soon to make room for Lindor for his glove anyway. A-Cab’s bat not holding the weight of his so-so defense now. Either way, not too concerned, personally.

  17. Nate says:
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    Keep 3 in keeper roto keeper league:
    Matt Moore
    Patrick Corbin
    Gio Gonzalez
    Corey Kluber
    Brandon Beachy

    Thanks

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Assuming no cost (auction/draft pick) is associated, Gio/Kluber and…uhhh…Moore for upside. Think you can get the other two in the draft if you want them, Moore will still go higher than he should.

      • Nate says:
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        @Sky:
        Actually I forgot the costs
        Moore $9
        Gio $11
        Kluber $5
        Corbin $5
        Beachy $3
        Usually teams wind up with 6 starters and 3 in reserve
        Would you still keep the same 3?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah, prices pretty important for consideration. I’d go Kluber/Corbin/Beachy. Think you can save some dough and build in the draft as needed.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      That’s very GTA

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: and very me?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          JFOH is always GTA.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Sky: Good To Altercate

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Grabbing Tatas Always

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Sky: I apologize to the ladies of Oregon

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  They didn’t seem to mind.

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: I got receiver hands

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Hopefully not like Tavon Austin

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